Why use social media for lead generation?
Social media offers an incredible opportunity to find leads. The number of social media users worldwide in 2018 is over 3 billion; 3 out of every 4 internet users are on social media.
The sheer number of users isn’t the only reason to use social media to generate leads for your insurance business.
Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn can help you through every step of lead generation, from attracting and converting leads to turning customers into vocal champions.
How, exactly, do you use social media for lead generation?
Pick Your Platform
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Pinterest, Reddit, YouTube, WhatsApp… Don’t worry, no one is expected to conquer them all. Don’t spread yourself too thin by trying to be everywhere at once.
Rather, pick your platforms wisely.
Who is your ideal customer?
What are your specialty niches?
Your overall marketing approach and social media platforms will differ whether you’re trying to sell personal lines to millennials or commercial lines to contractors, truckers, restaurants, or IT professionals.
- Facebook still reigns supreme as the most popular social media platform. With over 1 billion estimated monthly users, Facebook’s audience is vast.
- Youtube is the second most used platform but tends to be the #1 most popular social platform on mobile devices such as smartphones.
- Instagram and Snapchat are most popular for users aged 18 to 24.
- LinkedIn is favored by college educated people and people earning $75k and over. People aged 65+ are more likely to use Facebook.
Do your own research on social media demographics and statistics to determine the best platforms for you. Choose 3 or 4 platforms to focus on.
You can’t just claim your social profiles and sit back and expect leads to roll in. You need to show up.
Post regularly and consistently. Whether that’s 1x daily, 3x weekly, or 10x a day, each platform has its own best practices for how often and when to post to social media.
Target your personas. You know who your target audience is and which social media platforms they’re using. Now keep them in mind when finding and creating content to share.
Be useful. Is the content you’re sharing valuable to your personas? If it’s not useful, inspiring, entertaining, or assisting, it’s a waste of your time and theirs.
Don’t be selfish. Are you only sharing your own content - videos you’ve produced, blogs you’ve published, or memes and graphics you’ve created? Reach out and find other sources for useful content. Be sure to tag and mention people when you share their content - they just may return the favor.
Showing up doesn’t have to be time or labor intensive.
- Use social media tools to help you find, share, and pre-schedule content ahead of time.
- Set-up alerts so you don’t miss out on incoming comments, questions, or messages.
- Give yourself 15 minutes a day to pop-in and engage. Schedule it onto your calendar.
That’s a minimal investment for something that can yield a big return.
Now we get into actual tactics to use social media for lead generation.
Promote your own blog posts. Once you’ve published a blog on your insurance website, share it on your social channels.
Go beyond the blog. Use social media to promote gated and downloadable content. Gated content such as ebooks, guides, white papers, and webinars, are valuable content offerings that you give in exchange for contact info.
Pay to play. Facebook/ Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter all offer paid advertising opportunities. Create an ad campaign on Facebook, for example, and you can share your blog posts, ebooks, guides, white papers, videos, and “get-a-quote” campaigns to a specific audience that you select.
You can choose demographics such as age, location, and interest to determine who will see your content. For as little as $5 per day, you could drive more traffic to your website.
Retarget Your Audience
Not every person who engages with you on social media or clicks a link to your website will instantly convert. Retargeting gives you another opportunity to convert a website visitor into a lead.
How It Works
The most common type of retargeting is pixel retargeting. When someone visits your website, a cookie is placed on their browser.
When they leave your site and head out into the web, this cookie can signal other platforms to serve ads based on the pages they visited on your website.
Another way you can retarget people is by uploading a list of contact information into an advertising platform. If you have a long list of people who have requested a quote from you but haven’t purchased a policy, for example, you could retarget that audience with specific Facebook ads.
Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter all offer retargeting opportunities.
Check out this beginner’s guide to retargeting for step-by-step instructions on creating a retargeting campaign for Facebook.
Supercharge Your Customer Service
When you begin marketing your insurance business on social media, you offer your customers even more ways to get in touch with you.
- They will leave you comments and ask questions on your posts.
- They will direct message you.
- They will expect a response.
Customers view your social media channels as an extension of your company. They’re just as likely to send you a direct message on Facebook as they are to pick up the phone and call your office with a question.
Your response times matter. You wouldn’t let a week go by before returning a phone call from a prospect. Don’t let a week go by before you respond to someone on Facebook, either.
Social media customer service is just as - if not more! - important that regular customer service. If someone has a bad experience and calls you about it, no one hears that phone call but you and that customer. If someone has a bad experience and talks about it on social media - everyone hears about it.
Provide exemplary service to your existing and prospective customers on social media and you may inspire trust and create vocal brand advocates.
Listen and Watch
One of the ways to be more proactive with social media lead generation is to leverage social media monitoring and/or social listening.
- Social media monitoring: monitor your brand name or some keywords across social media to find relevant mentions as they happen.
- Social listening: track keywords, topics, brands, competitors, etc. across all the different relevant social networks.
Most social media management tools, such as Hootsuite, provide monitoring features that allow you to easily follow key conversations across multiple platforms.
Monitor your competitors. Are your competitor’s customers using social media to complain about bad products or services? Turn these into an opportunity. Not to bad-mouth the other guys, but to set yourself apart and be a part of a conversation.
Your social media is an extension of you, your insurance business, and the brand you’re building. Be sure to represent yourself authentically and well.
- Share other people’s content and give credit where due with mentions and tags.
- Participate in local groups and other communities - make it your goal to give (advice, tips) without asking for anything in return.
- Don’t bad-mouth your competitors. (Seriously, that’s libel. Don’t do it.)
- Respond kindly to questions and comments - leave the snark at home.
- Present yourself and your business in your best light.
Social media isn’t just kids’ stuff.
It’s a powerful way to reach hundreds, thousands, or even millions of people. With a smart strategy and targeted advertising, you can use social media to your advantage - building up your brand reputation, attracting new visitors to your website, converting those visitors into prospects, and turning those prospects into customers.